How to Survive Christmas – A Writing for Wellbeing Workshop

Saturday 11th November 2017, 10:00-16:30


This is a one day workshop for those who want to approach and experience the Christmas and New Year holiday season in a more authentic way and free themselves from the expectations, constraints and pressures that may be felt during this time of year.

This is a workshop for those who want to benefit from exploring their thoughts and feelings about Christmas and the holiday season using expressive writing.

In order to enjoy and feel good about this season and approach Christmas and New Year with joy and a light heart, we need to be able to express our own needs and make plans so that this time of year can be a pleasurable experience. To do this we need to uncover our feelings and understand the source of why we feel the way we do. Expressive writing can help us unpick the confusion and set us straight about what we want and why.

Do you:

  • Struggle to feel part of the celebrations
  • Hate the build up that seems to begin earlier and earlier each year
  • Have difficulty with and feel a personal conflict with the commercialisation of Christmas
  • Generally feel down and depressed this time of year
  • Feel alone in that everybody else seems happy and having a good time
  • See yourself to be a terrible person for feeling the way you do
  • Reflect on Christmases past and feel sad and dispirited
  • Feel pulled in all directions trying to please others
  • Suffer with feelings of anxiety and stress about Christmas
  • Feel sad and grief stricken
  • Feel guilty
  • Experience loneliness, melancholy or nostalgia
  • Feel deep loss when you witness other people in happy families and enjoying times with friends
  • Struggle with the morality of Christmas
  • Worry about how much it all costs and whether you may experience debt

If you believe any of these apply to you, if you feel constrained and frustrated and would prefer not to feel some of these emotions, if you would like to do what is right for YOU, what would make YOU happy, during the holiday season but are unsure about how to go about it, then come along to this workshop. You will learn how to use expressive writing to help you discover how you can, not only survive Christmas, but make it a fulfilling time for YOU, because YOU matter.

How does it Work

A developing body of research shows expressive writing calms the mind and emotions and increases feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Research has demonstrated increasing evidence of the emotional and physical benefits of all types of expressive writing, for example: creative writing, poetry, journaling, keeping a diary, blogging, mind mapping and intentional writing of traumatic or stressful events for therapeutic purposes. There is little doubt that writing has positive consequences and results in long term improvement in mood and health.

Who should Attend

This workshop is for anybody who is interested in how expressive writing can help them explore their feelings about this tricky time of year and who want to ensure the Christmas and holiday season is an enjoyable and fulfilling time, not just a time to be ‘got through’.

No previous experience of writing is required, nor is there any need to worry about spelling, grammar or punctuation, only a willingness to reflect and experiment with words in a supportive environment.

What to Expect

Themes include:

  • Positive Attitudes to Change and Growth
  • Feel Good about Yourself
  • Mindfulness and Calm
  • Balance and Perspective

Writing is a way to generate an attitude of positivity. It enhances feelings of motivation and wellness, as well as promoting ease in writing skills and creative thinking.

We will utilise various prompts such as: words, poems, art, post-cards, metaphors, positive affirmations, stories and music. Exercises will include individual tasks, pair work and group work.

Sharing of writing and participation in the exercises will completely be on a voluntary basis. Facilitators will encourage participation but will be mindful and respectful of each person and their needs.

Participants will benefit when writing is shared with others. Expressive writing when heard and validated by others can be a powerful and affirming learning experience. Participants many benefit from its healing properties, gain deeper levels of understanding, increased self confidence and greater self awareness.

How to Book

Pre-booking this workshop is essential. Contact Lyn by email: or call 07719 736600

Follow Up

A follow-up Workshop will be held on Saturday 6th January 2018 where participants will be able to reflect on Christmas 2017 – how was it for you?

Further details and how to book will be available later this year.

Workshop Facilitators

Jacqui Empson-High is a qualified Person-Centred counsellor, supervisor and poet with over 15 years experience working therapeutically with individuals and groups. She has a background in the NHS having worked as a nurse in the specialist area of oncology nursing and end of life care and then as an administrator. She currently works in private practice, the voluntary sector and at the Norwich Centre. She runs a monthly Writing for Wellbeing group at Wymondham Library and also one at a local cancer charity.

Testimonials from Jacqui’s workshops:

“The more aware we are the more we can help…. Amazing what is revealed, what you discover about yourself.”

“Very stimulating and thought provoking.”

“Something I’ve hardly ever done but want to do – not try to do, but realise I can do.”

“[Using] Different forms of writing…. using prompts, pebbles, pictures,   don’t have to be an expert to try it, but mindful.”

“…. Kept us safe in what could have been an emotional experience for us.”

“The exercises promoted self awareness.”



Lyn Hazleton

Lyn Hazleton is a qualified Integrative Psychotherapeutic Counsellor, writer, artist and a committed yoga practitioner. She has over 7 years experience working with people in a therapeutic setting using an integrative approach. An integrative approach refers to an infusion of a person’s personality and needs and focusses on promoting healing and wellbeing and facilitating wholeness, taking into consideration what works for an individual. Lyn has her own private practise and has worked for voluntary organisations including The Big C and Starthrowers (both local cancer charities) and for an EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) service. She has a background in the corporate sector, is experienced in project management and working in groups. Lyn has written several short stories and is currently writing her first novel.